St. Tammany Parish is no surprise a great place to live. The parish houses many great restaurants, shops, communities, top schools and places for residents or visitors to enjoy.  U.S. News & World Report’s listed St. Tammany Parish Hospital as one of the top in the nation in 2014.

St. Tammany Parish Hospital opened its doors in 1954 with only 15 hospital beds and today the hospital holds 232 beds. On November 27, 2018, the public hospital hosted a ground breaking on a $53.4 million expansion. The expansion will add close to 159,000 square feet and will include a four-story build-out. The number of beds will go from 232 to 247 with all private rooms.  Once the project is completed, the semi-private rooms throughout the hospital will be converted to private rooms.

According to Joan Coffman, St. Tammany Parish Hospital President and CEO, the first floor will be where the administrative offices and conference areas are located, the second and third floor will house critical care and medical/surgical beds and the fourth floor will be as she described “shell space” for future growth.

The expansion is going to be designed so that a fifth floor could be supported according to the architect, fl+WB Architects of Covington and the contractor, Milton Womack Inc. of Baton Rouge.  There is a three-year plan, Expansion 2020 Project, that includes the recently added new parking lot, and renovation of existing patient rooms. The expense will be covered by bonds issued by the hospital.

Coffman reports that 85% of the beds at the hospital are always in use. She states, “This is because of the (population) growth of the parish, especially western St. Tammany.’’ Admissions to the hospital rose 9% from 15,656 in 2016 to 17,038 in 2017, surgeries rose 14.5% to 11,000 in 2017 and emergency room visits hit a high of more than 47,000 in 2017 making a 12% increase. The parish has also started to attract more retirees which will put a huge demand on health care in the area.

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